Publication date: February 23rd 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
When Helen’s demons come racing back into her life, threatening to rip her apart and destroy the strength she has carefully rebuilt, Liam is the only one who might be able to save her.
Can he reach the broken girl in time, helping her to heal and see the world in a different light? Or will Helen’s grief send her spiraling out of control, lost to him forever?
Without any warning, a divine scent assails my nostrils. Releasing my suitcase, I walk into the foyer in wonder. I close my eyes and breathe deeply, turning my body around slowly in a 360 degree spin.
I can imagine the softness of the petals and the glorious colors, in tender pastels or vibrant, rich reds. I have no idea what these words mean, but if the flowers look anything close to the way they smell, they must be unbelievably enchanting. I breathe in again, sifting through all the different aromas in the room; I feel like I am pulling apart a piece of fabric and examining each thread. I can just make out the delicate, intoxicating fragrance of jasmine, along with the spicy sweetness of gardenia. Finally, an unmistakable musky aroma; the dizzying and deeply refreshing aroma of roses.
The perfumed air invades my sinuses and lungs, filling me with memories. I recall springtime picnics in the grass, and my mother holding my hand as we walk barefoot through a gurgling brook. I remember my sister laughing and dumping dozens of fresh, velvety blossoms into my arms. I remember pressing my face into the cool softness of the petals, and feeling happy to be alive.
When I was younger, I would rub my fingers over the dresses in my closet, trying to feel the difference in their color. I hoped that there was some kind of special energy in each color that I could grow to sense, if I tried hard enough. But flowers are different—they are alive! They are exuberant to the touch, and they sing loudly to boast of their beauty; you can’t not see the flowers in your mind when you smell them.
I hungrily inhale the fragrant air, trying to drink in the memories and squeeze every last drop of beauty out of this aroma. It’s completely overpowering, and I stand there in the middle of the foyer, looking around in a daze. Have I really stepped into my old house, or did that doorway lead into a different dimension? It has been years since I have encountered a remotely nice smell. I have been content with merely agreeable aromas. But to be immersed in such hypnotic and mesmerizing natural perfumes, all mingling together in the perfect combination for my palate! It’s almost unbearable. I almost want to cry at the loveliness of this moment.
I wish I had invited Liam and Owen in to see—but at the same time, I’m glad I did not. The fragrance is so uplifting that it’s almost spiritual, and I would not want them to make fun of me; not in this moment. I wouldn’t want anything to taint my enjoyment of the lush blossoms. I am almost trembling with gratitude for this moment alone with the posies. I feel like it was designed as a special gift, just for me. I stand in meditative silence for a few seconds, just breathing. I savor every breath.
Interview Loretta Lost
#1. Why did you choose to write about a blind heroine?
Due to the first person narrative, the whole story is colored by the filter of the main character’s point of view. It can make for an excellent reading experience to have a unique personality who is special or charming in some way—maybe they’re just incredibly witty or perceptive. Maybe they’re a hilarious pessimist or self-deprecating downer. I thought it would be challenging and rewarding to allow the reader to experience the story without vision to really put us inside Helen’s world. I feel that since we get to know other characters based on who they are instead of what they look like, there is a greater potential for deep connections.
#2. The first scene of your story is very heartbreaking and difficult to read. Why did you choose to write about the subject matter of rape?
I posted on one of my Facebook fan pages about rape once, and I had several of my readers message me in private and share their experiences. It was quite shocking and disturbing, and I was simply stunned at the frequency of these horrible events. While I do believe there is little I can do to prevent this type of behavior by simply writing, I hope that I can advocate compassion and caring for the victims of abuse by showing the way it has affected Helen.
#3. It was interesting to read about Helen’s retreat deep in the woods. What made you choose this location?
The concept of a reclusive writer living peacefully tucked away in the woods has always been enchanting to me. I often dream of having a similar little writing haven someday. I think being surrounded by nature and removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the annoyances of people would be the ideal situation for any writer. The specific location of New Hampshire was inspired by Walt’s cabin in Breaking Bad. The winter scenery was so gorgeous; and just outside the window, the sky has been dumping heaps of magical snow on us for months. I couldn’t resist writing about such a pretty landscape and sanctuary for a girl who likes to call herself Winter.
#4. What about your male lead? Why did you choose to make him a doctor?
I briefly dated an ophthalmologist who shared plenty of interesting surgery stories with me. However, he was boastful and condescending, and simply a horrible person. It was like he used his job and helping people solely as a lure to impress chicks. Sometimes, when people disappoint me in real life, I like to reimagine them as better and more likable people and write them into stories. Liam is a man who wants to help Helen because improving someone’s life will give him joy—not because he gets something in return. (However, I did put some of the negative attributes of my doctor into Owen’s character!)
#5. What’s next for Helen?
You will simply have to read on to see where her story leads. Helen has a difficult struggle ahead of her, coming to terms with her past and trying to move forward into a brighter future. She is a clever and strong girl, and if anyone can do it, I know she can!